Jason Statham

Ed Skrein

Sorry folks, no more greased up Jason Statham getting punchy for you…at least so far a the Transporter franchise is concerned. What you and The Stath do on your own time is your business. As recently reported, Luc Besson announced a deal for three additional Transporter films during last year’s Cannes Film Festival, all sans Statham, being that these new entries will be a franchise reboot. The latest incarnation of stunt driving martial arts tough guy Frank Martin will be thirty-year-old Game of Thrones alumnus Ed Skrein, who played Daenerys Targaryen ally Daario Naharis in HBO’s ratings juggernaut. The Englishman doesn’t have a terribly deep resume, but the full faith of Besson and EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert, who told Variety, “We searched everywhere to find a fresh face who had the potential to become an action movie star, and we’ve found the right match with Ed Skrein, who is not only a great actor, but also has enough charisma and physical stamina to play Frank Martin with brio.”

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review homefront

Jason Statham made his big screen debut in 1998’s Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and just four years later he got his first starring role as The Transporter. He’s been punching and kicking ever since, averaging between two to four films per year over the last decade, with 2013 coming in at the high end with lead roles in both Parker and Redemption and an end-credits cameo in a major action franchise. There are of course exceptions, but we can probably all agree that Statham’s more of a quantity over quality kind of guy. His newest action romp, Homefront, offers some bang for your buck, but it probably won’t be changing that assessment. Phil Broker (Statham) is working undercover as a member of a motorcycle gang that dabbles in the manufacture and distribution of meth. The big bust goes sideways, and when the gang leader’s son gets swiss-cheesed in front of his eyes, he swears vengeance against Broker before being carted off to jail. Two years later Broker and his young daughter, Maddy (Izabela Vidovic), are settling down to a new life in a small Louisiana town. The sins of the past soon come calling though when a local meth dealer (James Franco) discovers Broker’s past and invites some old friends to town for payback.

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Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson being cast in an action movie is not what you’d call surprising news. Yet it’s news nonetheless – as per The Hollywood Reporter, Johnson will be starring in Seal Team 666, likely as one of a team of Navy SEALS who exterminate otherworldly threats, Men in Black-style. Naturally, they happen upon an evil far powerful than they’ve ever experienced before, have to save the world from certain destruction, and so on and so forth. The premise comes from a similarly-titled book by Weston Ochse, while Johnson’s Hercules screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos will be handling screenplay duties. Seal Team 666 seems almost impossibly predetermined to be quickly forgotten; another biceps-and-bazookas romp with a few dashes of CGI demon thrown in for good measure. Perhaps it’s the lingering taste of R.I.P.D. in the public’s mouth. Perhaps it’s that the Dwayne Johnson/demonic influence combo was tried once before in 2005’s Doom, which ended up in the same landfill as all our other discarded video game adaptations. There is, however, a silver lining- Seal Team 666 may not provide anything drastically new or different (although it just might, for all we know), but its mere presence may secure Johnson as the action star this decade truly needs.

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tatum

UPDATED: The Playlist shares that this story has now been debunked. Boo. Recently Cinema Blend was invited to join director Paul Feig at a dinner meant to serve the boring purpose of promoting the release of Feig’s latest comedy, The Heat, on home video. Fortunately for us, their intrepid reporter refused to let an interesting opportunity slip away while talk stuck solely on director’s commentaries and gag reels, and instead managed to turn the focus of conversation to things Feig will be doing in the future. A couple of juicy tidbits were revealed. First off, Feig spilled the beans that Jason Statham was going to be appearing in that upcoming movie about a female secret agent he’s making that’s starring Melissa McCarthy. You know, the one that used to be called Susan Cooper? From the sound of it, Statham is probably just going to be playing a small part though, and one that comedically undercuts his status as a macho superhero, so that didn’t end up being the part of the conversation that was all that exciting. The exciting part was when the director revealed what he has planned for Channing Tatum.

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Jason Statham in Redemption

“It’s the story of a down-and-out, ex-special forces soldier…” Many a Jason Statham movie has laid claim to such a logline, yet we watch them all the same. No difference should exist with Redemption, from director Steven Knight. In this round, Statham plays a guy who has done terrible things, and now he must use his many murderous skills to do some good in search of… yes, you guessed it… redemption. Learn a little more about Statham’s next in this exclusive new behind the scenes featurette.

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Homefront

USA Today has the first look at Homefront, the Sylvester Stallone-written action flick soon to be an in-flight movie in a cross country flight in your near future. So what happenes when you take Sylvester Stallone out of the action movie and into the writers’ room?

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poster redemption

Okay, Jason Statham doesn’t actually play a hummingbird in his new film, but his name is Joe. The confusion comes from the film’s constantly morphing identity over the past few months. It’s going by the name Hummingbird in the UK and Crazy Joe in France, but US distributors have chosen to go with the far more generic Redemption. Check out the new trailer below.

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Hummingbird Movie

Well this looks excellent. Hummingbird is the story of an ex-special forces soldier who ends up homeless, but it’s really the tale of Jason Statham doing a bunch of Jason Statham-esque stuff while shining a light on social injustice. It looks gritty and violent, but it also looks like it has a dramatic heart beating at its center. It’s also no surprise that it’s the first feature directing effort from Steve Knight, the writer of Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things. Both were dark, bloody movies with a higher IQ than the regular rabble. Hopefully that’s what we’ll see here as well. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Parker Movie Jason Statham

Adapting material from one medium to another is never an easy proposition. Script to screen is perhaps the most dangerous transition of all as the phrase “the book was better” is so often a common sentiment. The waters are especially murky for an established character like Donald E. Westlake‘s Parker, the star of no less than 24 novels and a dozen or so mostly unofficial film appearances. Perhaps the most well-known is Mel Gibson’s Porter from the 1999 film Payback. Using a different novel as the source material, screenwriter John McLaughlin and director Taylor Hackford are bringing the Parker character back to the big screen this weekend in the aptly, if simply, titled Parker. Adapted from “Flashfire,” one of the more recent Parker novels, Parker sees our titular antihero (played by Jason Statham) teaming up with four other guys to rob the Ohio State Fair. Things go south after they make good their escape only to spring the news that they’re using the take as seed money on a bigger score. Parker, of course, just wants to walk away with his share like they agreed on. After a heated disagreement in a Surburban, the four send the weakest guy to shoot Parker. Thinking him dead, they move on to planning their big job in Palm Beach. Injured but not dead, Parker sets out to hunt the four men down and settle the score.

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Parker Trailer Jason Statham

Jason Statham has made so many movies where he plays a gun-shooting, high-kicking criminal who lives by a strict moral code that the Jason Statham Movie has become a genre unto itself. Generally all of these movies have forgettable one word titles, like Crank, Safe, or Blitz, but that doesn’t end up mattering much, because you can just tell people that you’re going to see the new Jason Statham Movie, and they’ll know what you’re talking about. Jason Statham Movies generally have another thing in common, as well. They feature Jason Statham’s gruff charisma and high-impact fight scenes as their star, and offer up little else. Things like storytelling or supporting talent don’t really matter when you know that you can trot Statham out a couple times a year, have him go through the motions, and still turn a profit. Parker looks like it’s going to be a Jason Statham Movie with a couple more tricks up its sleeve, though. Instead of relying on the star power of Statham alone, director Taylor Hackford’s new film teams him up with big names like Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, and Nick Nolte (and Bunk from The Wire!). The results are impressive at first glance, with Statham obviously having immediate chemistry with Lopez especially.

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Acting is like anything in that success doesn’t come quickly. It’s why we can go back and watch old clips of Brad Pitt whoring for Pringles or Tina Fey talking about the interest rate at Mutual Savings Bank. You have to start somewhere, right? Same goes for motion pictures – for most actors, your first role is going to be some mediocre piece like Return To Horror High or Revenge Of The Creature – but every once in a while an actor or actress starts off at a high point. Here are such high points, awesome first films that you’d be proud to be a part of even if you never did another film ever again.

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Actor/writer/director/student/weirdo James Franco has tried to pull off a lot of things over the past few years, but he’s yet to attempt to be an action hero. That may be about to change though, because THR is reporting that he just signed on to star in a project that involves two of the cornerstones of movie masculinity. The film is called Homefront, it comes from a script that was penned by Sylvester Stallone, and it will see Franco acting opposite Jason Statham. Uh-oh, Mr. Franco, looks like we’re gonna need a bigger boat (full of HGH). Okay, so maybe painting Franco as an action hero is pushing it. According to the report, Franco will actually be playing the villain of the piece, a meth dealer who goes by the name of Gator. Apparently he runs the town he lives in due to his super-profitable, meth-dealing lifestyle, and when an ex-D.E.A. agent (Statham) moves his family in down the street in hopes of living a sleepy life, it leads to some fireworks. Stallone’s script is based off of a novel of the same name that was written by Chuck Logan, so to get a better idea of the specifics of the story we can turn to the books Amazon description, which reads:

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The first clip from The Expendables 2 is sticking to the formula of rapid squibs, snarky one-liners and people being fine after getting shot because they’re mas macho. In other words, it’s very cool. Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham zipline in the most exposed-to-bullets way possible only to end up surrounded by a small group of well-armed baddies. How do they escape? By stealing a gag from The Losers, of course. Check it out for yourself:

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Sylvester Stallone seems to be pretty proud of the work he’s done on his latest film, The Expendables 2. So much so that he’s even dressed up in a suit and tie to premiere the movie’s trailer on IGN (fancy!). Sly says of his new all-star action extravaganza, “If you thought the first movie kicked some serious ass, you haven’t seen anything yet.” For fans of The Expendables, that has to be an exciting bit of music to their action-loving ears. But what of us who thought the first movie was mostly just a disappointing bore? Well, if this new bit of advertising is to be believed, there might be some hope for us as well.

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A young kid is in possession of a highly valuable code that many would kill for. Stored safely in the kid’s mind, the only way to get the code is to capture the kid alive. But there’s one tough badass standing in everyone’s way, protecting and hiding the kid at every turn. Sound familiar? That’s more or less the plot of Safe. It’s also more or less the plot of the nearly forgotten 1998 film Mercury Rising. Trade out an NSA code for a code for the combination of a safe (ha, get it!) and a 9-year-old autistic boy for an 11-year-old Chinese girl and you basically have the same movie. Mei (Catherine Chan) is a brilliant young student whose smarts and attitude give her teachers a bit of headache. But when the Chinese mob learns of her photographic memory, they bring her to Beijing and hold her ailing mother hostage to force her into working for them. Character actor extraordinaire James Hong stars as Han, the aging head of the mob, a man who despises computers and technology and anything that can leave a trail. He sends Mei to America to keep track of the financial data for his various fronts and illegal businesses. When Han comes to New York to close a huge deal, he asks Mei to memorize a very long number, a code for something he wants. But on the way to get the second half of the […]

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If you ask me, Brian De Palma has been really underperforming over the last decade or so. I think I remember seeing Femme Fatale and The Black Dahlia from him, and that’s about it. When was the last time I was truly excited to see a De Palma film? You’d have to go all the way back to when he worked with Nic Cage on Snake Eyes. Thankfully, the director has a new project in the works, and while it’s not quite as exciting as a re-pairing with Nic Cage, it does sound appropriately ridiculous. This time he’s working on a remake of a Burt Reynolds movie, with Jason Statham in the Burt Reynolds role. Probably not a lot of people remember 1986’s Heat, because by all accounts it was pretty bad. It’s the type of movie that goes through multiple directors over the course of its production, and then eventually forces the guy who has to take credit for directing to not even use his real name.

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Drinking Games

One big action release on DVD and Blu-ray this week features Jason Statham, Robert De Niro, Clive Owen and Clive Owen’s mustache. The film Killer Elite is based on a true story about a secret agency that arranged assassinations in the early 80s. It also features a lot of 80s porno-era facial hair, which should be a treat for everyone. While the film misses the chance to have Jason Statham and Clive Owen have a street race to see whether the Transporter or BMW’s The Driver is better behind the wheel, but at least it gives “tough guy” movie fans a chance to see some icons together on the same screen. For everyone else, it offers a great chance to participate in a drinking game.

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My anticipation for the original The Expendables was massive, only to be matched in size and scope by my disappointment after I actually saw the film. Stallone’s new version of Rambo was awesome, it was packed full of R-rated action movie sleaze and it wasn’t at all ashamed of being exploitation. The Expendables looked like it was going to be a continuation of that, and also a massive team-up of bitchin’ 80s action stars the likes of which we’ve never seen. It didn’t really turn out to be all that though. It was kind of lame and boring, and really it was just a Stallone and Statham team-up movie with a handful of other cameos thrown in. So I’m approaching The Expendables 2 much more cautiously. But even with lowered expectations, I can’t help but feel a little bit of a tingle watching the first teaser. I don’t know if it’s going to be the classless, take no prisoners, R-rated schlock that I’m hoping for, but at least it looks like this one is finally going to be the huge team-up of old guys that I wanted from the first. The team-up aspect is all that can be discerned from this teaser though. It’s a teaser in the truest sense, basically we get the names and head shots of the principal cast and not much else.

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Earlier today, we were shocked to learn that people die in a film called Immortals, a shock I hope you’ve all sufficiently recovered from, because I am about to knock your socks off with another slice of cinematic surprise. The latest jaw-dropper? Jason Statham is starring in a film that necessitate that he kick total ass and protect an innocent. Too much? Get ready for more – the film also involves some form of safe-cracking, and the combination of both an actual safe as plot point, paired with Statham needing to save someone, gives us one damn succinct film title. It’s called Safe. You can resume breathing now. In Boaz Yakin‘s (Remember the Titans and, uh, Uptown Girls) perfectly titled film, Statham plays some sort of “elite agent” tasked with saving and safing (get it?). There’s also some stuff about that cute kid he needs to protect, numbers and codes, the Russian mafia, and more. Also? Statham apparently kicks a ton of ass, as this first trailer is about 90% ass-kicking and 10% numbers-running. It’s Statham at his absolute best (numbers aside). After the break, watch the trailer for Safe, which will likely assure that any male viewers will break out into cold sweats the next time they’re in a subway.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is just trying to get through its humpday malaise, therefore it’s a nightly movie news column that will be keeping things short, sweet and surprisingly interesting this evening. We begin tonight with Michael Bay and Jason Statham, both of whom are denying all those rumors about Transformers 4 and 5. It was just as safe to assume yesterday that nothing was actually in the works as it is to assume today that something really is in the works. Logically, the bean counters at Paramount and Hasbro want another one. And until the price becomes right, all parties involved will deny, deny, deny. In the mean time, rumors will resurface. Because as Statham told MTV News this week, “the internet is a dangerous place.” And that’s coming from a pretty dangerous guy.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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